City Council abates $6.1 million tax

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Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor | The Daily Eastern News Mayor Brandon Combs and Council Member Dennis Malak share a discussion before the city council meeting on Tuesday night. Between them is a telephone which Council Member Matthew Hutti used to participate in the meeting remotely.

Corryn Brock, News Editor

The Charleston City Council approved a resolution to abate a tax levied to pay debt service on $6.1 million general obligation refunding bonds.

The tax was abated because the bond used to pay for the construction of the water treatment plant has been repaid. 

“We do this and the city uses the water and sewer revenues to meet this debt service in lieu of levying taxes,” Mayor Brandon Combs said.

The council also approved a resolution to request legislation to extend Charleston’s Downtown TIF District’s term, which would make the current 35-year term a 47-year term.

The reason for the request given in the resolution was that the “City of Charleston has experienced the economic benefits of the City’s Downtown TIF District, and has concluded that in order for said economic benefits to continue, it is necessary to extend the City’s Downtown TIF District for an additional twelve years.”

The council also approved a resolution to execute a contract with Economic Development Resources, L.L.C. for technical consulting services and assistance with the extension.

The contract is not to exceed $25,000.

The reason for the contract given in the resolution for the contract was the “city has need of assistance in meeting with representatives of the underlying taxing districts, members of the Illinois State Legislature representing the City, and other interested and affected parties in its effort to extend the estimated date of completion.”

The council also approved a resolution to change parking spaces at Lake Charleston to designate two parking spots for vehicles with trailer parking only and five will be designated for “vehicle parking or vehicle with trailer parking unless there is a special event, such as a fishing tournament and the spaces are temporarily signed as vehicle with trailer parking only prior to the special event.”

A petition for the variance of permitted sign standards for Michael and Candy Vaughan at 301 West Lincoln Ave.

In the consent agenda the release of closed session meeting minutes was approved for several dates from the past year.

The council released the minutes because “it is no longer necessary to protect the public interest or the privacy of an individual by keeping them confidential and such minutes, which were previously approved in closed sessions, are to be hereby released,” according to the resolution.

The destruction of audio and video from January 2, 2018 and March 6, 2018 closed session meetings was also approved in the consent agenda.

A raffle license for the organization Children’s Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois was also approved.

The license will be used at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 29 at the LifeSpan Center to raise funds to provide services for victims of abuse.

Following the meeting Ed Studinarz spoke during the time for public comment to urge the council to consider making changes to current policies in the water department that force landlords to pay for outstanding water bills for tenants and encouraged them to require proof of residency when individuals pay to have water turned on at residences.

Two city councilmen, Dennis Malek and Jeff Lahr were present at the meeting and councilman Matthew Hutti was phoned in to the meeting.

Councilman Tim Newell was not present at the meeting.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]